Tons of companies like to claim to be the lightest. But while many use creative accounting to get their published weights low, premium Spanish carbon frame maker UNNO goes the other way. “Ready to ride” at 790g, their new Unno Aora is the “lightest production XC hardtail” molded in one step and ready to buy now, shipping in just a matter of weeks…
UNNO Aora ultra light carbon XC hardtail mountain bike
Unno claims a real world weight of 790g (+/-5%) for the 29er hardtail, including its minimal paint, cable ports, all threaded inserts, the alloy rear derailleur hanger, and even the rear thru-axle. That’s a lot more realistic than some companies’ claims.
Even with that said, the frames they’ve shared so far come in well under that. This first real production frame tipped the scales at a mere 736g on Unno’s scale, presumably before some final finishing.
Fresh out of the carbon mold, it was just 686g. That’s crazy light, with this step comparable to some big manufacturer’s claims.
Like the rest of their bikes, the new carbon Aora XC hardtail is made by hand in Unno’s Barcelona workshop in limited numbers. And ultra light weight comes with both premium performance & price – and a single size for now to fit the average rider.
Unno doesn’t like the idea of a bike made up of separate parts that are then bonded together to make a whole, so they mold those hundreds of individual carbon plies together into a single piece with no joints. While they don’t tout the Aora as being ‘monocoque’, building it as such with a single mold for each frame size allows them to shed grams while retaining strength & durability.
Like most of their other premium carbon bikes, Unno’s new Aora is first available in a single frame size. The reasoning behind that is that a large number of riders can fit on this M/L sized bike, but with so much time in development, testing & layup optimization, Unno can just realize a single frame size more quickly to get the bike out to medium to tall riders with deep pockets more quickly.
Even though it is an ultralight hardtail designed for cross-country racing, the Aora gets modern trail riding geometry inspiration from Unno’s more aggressive full suspension bikes. That means a long & slack front end, a relatively steep effective seatpost with a low stack height to get XC racers nice & low.
Unno Aora Tech Details
The XC race 29er, even with its crazy short 418mm long chainstays, still builds in clearance for up to 2.4″ wide tires.
The Aora features a PF92 bottom bracket for those extra short chainstays, zero stack tapered integrated headset cups, gets Boost 148 rear spacing with a one-piece dropout+derailleur hanger, and a post mount rear brake for a 160mm rotor, with one brake tab each on the seat & chainstay.
The 1x only frame has completely internal cable routing through molded carbon guide tubes, and uses a 31.6mm seatpost, including stealth dropper routing. The Aora is a light race bike with a rider limit of 90kg/198lb and includes only a single set of water bottle bosses (although an optional second set can be added.)
Unno Aora XC hardtail Pricing & Availability
Unno is accepting consumer-direct pre-orders now for the Aora frames for 4000€. Only 50 total numbered frames will be sold in 2019, with orders sent out first-come, first-served. Don’t worry, this isn’t some far off target, though. Unno has dialed in their production over the holidays, and will start shipping the first Aora frames before the end of January 2019 – plenty of time to build it up for race season. Complete bike builds will be available later in 2019.
BTW, just to reiterate how much potential this ultra light XC hardtail holds, we’ve already heard that Gustav Gullholm & Unno are chatting about the possibilities for a new world’s lightest complete XC bike build. You may remember Gustav, aka @dangerholm for his two crazy ‘world’s lightest 29er mountain bikes’ that we featured back in March. Well, now Gustav is talking about a <6kg über-light build with the new Aora!